I hate to admit it, but I am old enough to have started my career before there were fax machines, word processing, e-mail, or the Internet.  When I first started practicing law, documents were created on a typewriter and if you needed multiple copies, you used carbon paper and hoped that you did not make a mistake.    If you wanted to get in touch with someone, you called them on the telephone.  I mean the kind that was attached to the wall, I am sure you remember them.

Today, we now have available to us all forms of technology to make both our work and personal lives so much more efficient and productive.

We can instantaneously communicate with people all over the world through e-mail and the Internet.    Time and distance are no longer obstacles to our ability to send and receive information to and from family, friends, customers and clients.   This technology has put the entire world at our disposal and we can now reach out to practically anyone, anywhere at any time, for both business and pleasure.   

The Internet is an expansive landscape of communication with the possibility of an unlimited exchange of goods, services, information and ideas, mostly, free of charge, unless you choose to buy something online.

The Internet has made the world one immense global marketplace where, with a little ingenuity and creativity, any business can have a presence on the World Wide Web that gives them exposure to the entire world and helps level the playing field in what was once an arena only available to international corporations with very large advertising budgets.

Unfortunately, none of these great technological advances come without a price.   The price we pay is the inevitable abuses that always arise whenever there is so much access by so many people.

The wonder of e-mail has been cheapened by unrelenting spam, viruses and phishing.   These concepts are not new.   Junk mail, identity theft, and invasion of privacy have always been with us in one form or another.   The only difference today, is the speed and extent with which it can happen.      

In the world of business, there have always been unscrupulous people who would do anything to make a buck.   Well, the Internet is no different.    Everyone can find something on the Internet they find offensive or disturbing.  

Despite all of its shortcomings, today’s technology, when used responsibly, is still the greatest tool ever to exist for the benefit of our businesses and our personal lives.